We are entering the time of the year when fans start looking outside of their team. It is time to check out the records of other teams for seeding potential and pinpoint who they should be rooting for or against to improve that seeding. So, let's take a look at this from the Raiders perspective. The Raiders are going to have a hard time catching the Buffalo Bills (0-8) for that first overall draft pick.
What's that you say? The Raiders are only a half of game out of first place and I should be looking at the other end of the standings? Well, there you have it folks--it's official, the Raiders are in the playoff hunt. It is still a little early to be thinking wild card or positioning, but with the bye week upcoming it is a good time to set the foundation.
It is also never to early to keep an eye on the rest of the AFC West. Last week, the Chiefs had a golden opportunity to pull out to a commanding 2.5 game lead in the division. Of course, the Raiders had other ideas when they came back and then overtook the Chiefs for an OT victory. Just like that the Raiders were in a half game of the division lead.
That means the Raiders could take their first lead in the AFC West since 2002 by sitting at home. The Chiefs travel to Denver to take on fellow AFC West for the Broncos. The Broncos are coming off of their bye week as they recovered from their jump across the pond and suffered a loss to the 49ers. It was the Broncos fourth straight loss.
If the Broncos are going to snap their losing skid and launch the Raiders into first place they are going to have to stop the Chiefs league leading rushing attack. As Raider fans know, stopping the run has not been the Broncos strength.
Meanwhile, all of this has been going on as the Chargers managed to hang around. Last week the Chargers staved off a late comeback attempt by the Texans. The Texans were driving late, but Andre Johnson kicked a ball out of his own hands and it resulted in an interception. This allowed the Chargers to get their record to, a not out of it, 4-5.
Despite massive injuries, it was the Chargers second win in a row. The Chargers will join the Raiders on the couch this week as they have a bye. Also like the Raiders, the Chargers hope to get a little healthier to set up for a strong second half of the season. You cannot count the Chargers out. They have a history of strong finishes and Philip Rivers is on a record breaking pace.
Check back for a preview and then recap of the Chiefs-Broncos game.